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Ancient Irish Style Jewelry Casting with Iris Nevins

In this class we will do simple clay casting of a pendant in sterling silver. The pieces we will make will suit either men or women. We will be using the torch, but you are not expected to handle it if you don’t want to, so do not let inexperience with either jewelry making or using a torch deter you. You are guaranteed to go home a with a finished piece of fine jewelry, worthy of a high end crafts show or shop. I will supply number of carved models of knotwork, and some other designs, or you can bring your own small (under 1 1/2″ ), flat (no more than 1/4″ thick), “solid” items you wish to cast from, which will give you a close copy of the cast item. The class is not limited to knotwork, you can bring in any style small flat item and we will see if it is suitable. Even a button could work! If you can carve wax or make a model of clay or something else, you may bring it in. This type of casting is done in a moist clay, in a ring mold. It is a fascinating process, used by many ancient cultures, including the Irish and other Celts, simple… yet the effect is beautiful.

Usually we have some time left at the end of the week to explore some other techniques, which I call “Kitchen Table Celtic Jewelry” It is basically bead and wire work that can be done by anyone, with supplies readily available in A.C. Moore or Michaels Crafts. No heating or soldering required at all. A technique you can take home and use anytime you like! No experience required, and teens are welcome to do both Casting and Kitchen Table Celtic techniques.

Shop fee will be $25. This will cover sterling and fine silver, other wires, and beads for the Kitchen Table Celtic part of the class. Students generally go home with at least two pieces, after the main piece is done, often more than that. The Kitchen Table Techniques especially, give you the skill to easily create wirework and bead gifts for friends and family at home without the use of a torch or soldering.

My background: I studied what is called “Classical Jewelry Making” for several years. I was trained to work in high karat gold, fine silver using ancient techniques. I have made many museum copies and my own original pieces have an old world feel, some say they look like the pieces in the Lord Of The Rings. I also studied jewelry repair at Studio Jewelers, A school in NYC and am certified in repair. Examples of my pieces can be seen on my website. I also play Irish Harp and guitar, and build my own instruments, and of course they all get some jewelry built into them!

You may email me with any questions about the class: